May 19, 2022

Kim Kardashian and Van Jones Reportedly Dating; Biden on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines for U.S. Troops; Youngest CEO of a Black-Owned Business; 24 Chicago Restaurants Received Michelin Stars; Chicago Hero Cops

Kim Kardashian and CNN Commentator Van Jones Reportedly Dating

Kim Kardashian is reportedly dating an unlikely celebrity candidate. Moving on from Kanye West, she is back on the circle of singles and ready to mingle. The most surprising dating rumors emerged from Tinseltown that fueled exciting speculation that the billionaire reality star dates the CNN commentator Van Jones.

The intriguing details came after reports that Kardashian was being pursued by A-list celebrities, billionaires, and royals after news of her divorce went public. Kardashian and her former spouse, Kanye West, are currently in the middle of divorce proceedings following seven years of marriage, but neither party has publicly addressed the issue.

The unlikely celebrity candidate romantically linked to Kardashian is Van Jones, 52, a respected CNN commentator. He a prominent figure on American news television and a New York Times best-selling author and Emmy Award winner. Jones also served as a special advisor to the former US president Barack Obama in 2009 and has founded multiple non-profit foundations. He has two children with his former spouse, the producer Jana Carter. They were married for 13 years and divorced in 2019. He became close to Kardashian, 40, when she was involved in the campaign for criminal justice reform in 2018 when Jones is the CEO of the REFORM Alliance, a movement to overhaul the justice system. Jay Z and Meek Mill founded the initiative.

Jones and Kardashian were credited with persuading former US President Donald Trump to support the First Step Act in late 2018 and Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner. First Step Act aimed to reform the harsh sentencing laws. The bill was passed by Senate by an overwhelming margin of 87-12. Jones stated that without Kardashian, the bill would never have been passed. According to Jones, her meeting with Trump in the Oval Office before the bill being introduced when she lobbied for the release of Alice Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for a one-time drug offense, was the turning point.

“Let me tell you something if Kim Kardashian had not gone to the White House and talked to Donald Trump, we would not have passed this bill,” Jones told TMZ in an interview.

Biden Considers Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines for U.S. Troops

President Joe Biden said that he is not ruling out the requirement of vaccines on all U.S. troops. The federal regulators, the Food and Drug Administration, released the approval and final clearance on the COVID-19 vaccine. Still, Biden cautioned that such a decision on mandatory vaccine would be a “tough call”.

“I don’t know. I’m going to leave that to the military,” Biden said to NBC News’ Craig Melvin in an interview. The statement was the response to a question on whether he would mandate the vaccine for U.S. service members once the Food and Drug Administration fully approves it.

“I’m not saying I won’t. I think you’re going to see more and more of them getting it. And I think it’s going to be a tough call as to whether or not they should be required to have to get it in the military because you’re in such close proximity with other military personnel — whether you’re in a quarter, where you’re all sleeping, or whether you’re out in maneuvers.” Biden said.

The comments from the President were solicited after the Pentagon has sounded the alarm about the reports that some service members are refusing the vaccination. According to congressional testimony from military officials in February, around one-third of troops declined to take the shot. The Pentagon reported that close to 40 percent of Marines offered the vaccine turned it down early this month.

Several Democratic congressmen asked that Biden make the vaccine a requirement for service members. At the same time, the Pentagon press secretary John Kirby confirmed the military’s top leadership was weighing on a mandatory vaccination decision. The skepticism of the vaccine within the military’s ranks is similar to the hesitancy experienced by a segment of the civilian population who does not want to be vaccinated. The U.S. vaccine supply has become available to all American adults 16 and older and begins to outpace demand.

“Obviously, we’re thinking about what happens when they become FDA-approved. It would change the character of the decision-making process, about whether they could be mandatory or voluntary. But I don’t want to get ahead of that process right now.” Kirby told reporters.

Youngest CEO of a Black-Owned Business Partners with Walmart

Lily Adeleye, the six-year-old founder of Lily Frilly, has lined up distribution of her label in more than 1,000 stores. The company focused on hair bows when it started three years ago, but other accessories and apparel have since been added. Lily’s creative ideas turned into a business opportunity after showing some of her designs to her mother’s social media followers.

Adeleye is now the youngest chief executive officer of a Black-owned brand following Friday’s launch at Walmart, with products offered through the retailer. Four different designs of her hair bows are being sold. Walmart is the second major retailer that it has made access to for distribution. Last year Lily Frilly partnered with Target to sell her products. Lily and her hopes that the Walmart Inc. deal will inspire more girl-run start-ups in the future.

The mother of Lily Adeleye is the beauty and lifestyle entrepreneur Courtney Adeleye, who built The Mane Choice. It is a multimillion-dollar hair care business. A registered nurse by profession and a University of Michigan graduate, the Detroit-born founder develop natural hair care products through a science-based approach. The variety of offerings are made suitable for all ethnicities and has generated more than $100 million in sales in the past years.

“Lily is inspired by business overall. I have three kids, and she is the only one who has her own company. She is constantly creating logos and asking to bring new items to market. I don’t know if it’s genetic or that something is just in her. The plan is to go down as many aisles as we can, with bags and shoes on her daughter’s to-do list,” said Courtney Adeleye.

The projected volume for Lily Frilly this year is expected to be nearly $2 million. The main product line is hair bows and accessories, which account for 70 percent of the volume, and the remaining 30 percent comprises apparel. Seeing little girls happy is the best part of Lily’s entrepreneurial adventure. On the other hand, activations can be a little difficult for the young CEO due to several picture-taking sessions and smiling when she does not feel her best self, her mother said.

24 Restaurants in Chicago Received Michelin Stars

The City of Chicago received an exciting announcement which again proved that the city is one of the rich gastronomic destinations in the country. On Thursday, the Michelin Star announcement for 24 Chicago restaurants celebrates with hope and vigor. The highly anticipated revelation is more than just the coveted title, coming at a moment when so many businesses are looking to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Michelin Guide published annually by the French tire company Michelin is a series of reference books or guides. Michelin commonly refers to the oldest hotel and restaurant reference guide in Europe, the Michelin Blue Guide. Michelin awards to carefully selected establishments up to three stars rating for excellence. Michelin reviewers or inspectors stay anonymous. They do not identify themselves as reviewers when they visit and assess the restaurants, and Michelin pays for their meals and expenses.

On Thursday, the Michelin Guide announced its 2021 stars, with two newcomers awarded with their first two-star rating and another one-star first-timer. New to the list is Ever, which received two stars, Moody Tongue with two stars, and Porto which received one star. The only restaurant to receive a three-star rating was the Alinea, a Michelin list regular. The announcement came just two days after 58 Chicago restaurants received the Bib Gourmand distinction.

“Michelin Guide inspectors were honored to commemorate the strength and creativity of Chicago chefs and restaurant teams throughout the past year. Our teams look forward to discovering even more new talent in the area as the industry continues to emerge from the crisis,” said Gwendal Poullennec, the International Director of the MICHELIN Guides, in an official statement.

In summary, below are the 2021 Michelin Starred Restaurants in Chicago:

The One Star recipients are – Omakase Yume, Elizabeth, Goosefoot, Parachute, Topolobampo, Entente, Boka, North Pond, Next, Sepia, Elske, EL Ideas, Schwa, Temporis, Spiaggia, Porto, Mako, and Yūgen.

The Two-Star awardees are – Ever, Smyth, Oriole, Acadia, and Moody Tongue.

Alinea, a restaurant located in North Halsted Street, received the most prestigious Three Michelin Star rating. Led by its head chef, Grant Achatz, Alinea is the only Chicago restaurant to retain a three-star status – the highest Michelin prestige, as of April 2021.

Chicago Police Officers Recognized for Saving 13-year-old Shooting Victim

Two Chicago police officers were credited for saving the 13-year-old and his cousin injured in a shooting incident on the South Side. Officers Rhonda Ward and Julius Givens were patrolling the vicinity of  8200-Block of South Coles on Monday night when a lady waved them down and said there was a shooting incident close to her house and somebody in her backyard was injured. 

The two officers were the first to arrive on the scene for a ShotSpotter alert. The two boys were critically wounded and lying on the ground. They identified the 13-year-old as Swaysee Rankins, and his 14-year-old cousin Randle Archie. Both of them have gunshot wounds in the back and the abdomen. The incident was a random drive-by shooting that occurred at around 9:30 p.m. 

A video from a Facebook live stream showed Officers Ward and Givens carrying Rankins and putting him in the squad car. The two officers lifted the boys for a good hundred yards to the curbside. The door quickly closed, and they raced to the University of Chicago Medical Center. Ward drove the car while Givens was in the back, making sure the 13-year-old boy stayed alert and alive. Givens kept the pressure on the gunshot wounds to stem excessive bleeding.

“I was just trying to stay focused to get him to the hospital. I told him to stay with us. He was in and out of consciousness, and we were trying to keep him alive,” said Officer Givens. 

“Stay with me and we’re gonna make this trip together and he trusted us. He stayed with us and he did just that. So he’s a hero too,” said Officer Ward.

Rankins was gravely injured but has recovered and has left the hospital. Archie, the 14-year-old boy, remains in critical condition. The mother of Rankins called the officers – heroes for transporting her son to the emergency room. “Those officers were quick, did not wait, got him on time. I am so thankful,” she said.

The two officers involved admit that it is tough to be a cop these days, but stories like this make it all worth it. “That’s what we are here for – to serve our community and be positive every day in our community.” Said Officer Ward.